Thomas Scerri: ‘I have a tin can with little memoirs I used to keep when I was a child’

The Q&A with artist Thomas Scerri

Thomas Scerri: I enjoy spending nights in watching movies
Thomas Scerri: I enjoy spending nights in watching movies

Thomas Scerri is a visual artist based in Malta. He studied at the University of Malta, attaining a BFA and MFA in Digital Arts. His work often addresses human-environment interactions and challenges the boundaries between the man-made and the natural.  Thomas’ visual art exhibition Rooftops can be visited at Palazzo de La Salle in Valletta from 1 to 22 July 2021.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Put the kettle on and make some tea

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I think the best advice I have been given was to be patient and wait for the right time. This is something that I try to adopt in various aspects of life.

What do you never leave the house without?

I can go through the day without my phone, but I guess I can’t leave the house without my wallet (and the mask now!)

Pick three words that describe yourself

Quiet, attentive and frugal.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

I think I’ll go with my education. It has been a long journey, but I made it through.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I enjoy spending nights in watching movies.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

I have been taught not to miss any opportunities as once they are gone, they won’t come back. Sometimes it’s best to dive in and seize the chance.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

My camera equipment.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I wish I knew that being an adult wouldn’t be as fun as I had imagined.

Who’s your inspiration?

I find my inspiration mostly in nature. It teaches us things that we as humans tend to ignore. But if this is strictly a ‘who’ question, I would say my parents. They have brought me up with values that I cherish today.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Curbing my self-confidence. Although I still struggle occasionally, I would have not been anywhere near where I am today. Believing in yourself and your potential is winning half the battle to achievement.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?     

I would have been quite content have I got into horticulture and spend my days working with plants.

Do you believe in God?

Yes, definitely! It is evident for me that there is a higher power.

If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

I would have loved to get to know both my grandmothers better as I lost both at a young age.

What’s your worst habit?


What are you like when you’re drunk?

I’m definitely more at ease and I was told I’m fun when drunk, but I can’t be the judge of that!

Who would you have play you in a film?

I honestly don’t know! Although I would love to see myself being depicted through Sean Connery’s voice.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Selfishness and inconsideration.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

Karl Jenkins’ Benedictus.

What is your most treasured material possession?

I have a tin can with little memoirs I used to keep when I was a child. They are just knickknacks but each one triggers a particular memory.

What is your earliest memory?

I have a very vague memory of me running around the flat in my pedal car while my mother was cleaning.

When did you last cry, and why?

I tend to get emotional when listening to certain musical pieces, so I have to admit that it hasn’t been very long!

Who would you most like to meet?

Antony Gormley.

What’s your favourite food?

I am always up for a chargrilled steak!

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

I follow many talented visual artists both local and foreign, can’t really pick a favourite!

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

I am kind of intrigued by the carefree 1950s. Somehow, I think that I would have fitted well in that era.

What book are you reading right now?

I enjoy reading fiction novels and I am just about to finish Bag of Bones by Stephen King.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A mind reader! Especially when I see people interacting with my art, I would be very curious to know what they are thinking.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

I know that it’s cliché, but I’d like to travel more. I’ve always wanted to road trip across the US.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

My playlist varies too much! The last song I listened to was Lazarus by David Bowie.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

I don’t mind a tune from the 80s to get me cheered up, but as for singing…